Artist Challenges

Flash and Fire Challenge
Spring 2019

 

Artists of all skill levels are invited to participate in AMCAW’s first worldwide jewelry competition, the Flash & Fire Challenge!

Create an original piece of jewelry using, or inspired by, one or more of the metal clay techniques in the AMCAW Flash and Fire Tutorial Collection available to all members; then photograph your work and submit your photo and entry online. You can submit up to three different pieces; if you’re inspired to make several creations, submit them all!

You’ll be competing with artists of similar skill levels in a juried competition with prizes awarded in the following experience level categories:

New to Metal Clay – actively working with metal clay for under six months.

Beginners/Intermediate Level Artist – actively working with metal clay for six months to two years.

Advanced Metal Clay Artist – actively working with metal clay for over two years. This category includes instructors.

After the jury awards the category prizes, voting opens to the general public for the People’s Choice award, in which all entries not winning one of the three experience level prizes will compete. Your work will be seen by thousands of jewelry fans as they vote for their favorite. Encourage your customers, friends and family to vote:  when the winner is announced, it could be you!

All entries must be submitted by April 5, 2019.

 

Prizes

All prizes are valued at over $500 each!

New to
Metal Clay

 

Sponsor

One year membership for the Jewellers Academy

Plus a selection of books and magazines 

Details here

Beginners/
Intermediate

Sponsor

Silhouette Curio™ and
Cindy Pope Designs package

Details here

Advanced
Metal Clay
Artist

Sponsor

Collection of gold, silver, copper and bronze clays

Details here

People’s
Choice
Award

Sponsor

Clay and tools by
Cool Tools

Details here

New to

Metal Clay

 

Sponsor

One year membership for the Jewellers Academy

Plus a selection of books and magazines 

Details here

Beginners/

Intermediate

Sponsor

Silhouette Curio™ and
Craftcast package

Details here

Advanced

Metal Clay Artist

Sponsor

Collection of gold, silver, copper and bronze clays

Details here

People’s Choice

Award

Sponsor

Clay and tools by
Cool Tools

Details here

Jurors

 

Brittany Golden

Brittany Golden

Brittany Golden is a studio artist, teacher and owner of the B Golden Jewelry School

Read more about Brittany…

Keith LoBue

Keith LoBue

Keith is an award winning artist, inventor and teacher.

Read more about Keith…

Robert Dancik

Robert Dancik

Robert is an artist/educator and developer of materials for artists.

Read more about Robert…

Artist Information

 

We challenge you to create an original piece of jewelry using, or inspired by, one or more of the metal clay techniques in the AMCAW Flash and Fire Tutorial Collection available to all members. Your work should not duplicate the jewelry in the tutorial, but use the technique you learned in a new and original work of your own.

Please read the rules below carefully before creating your piece; we’ve also provided guidelines to help you select your category and prepare your entry. 

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:- 

  • Design innovation and originality
  • Successful incorporation of materials
  • Quality of workmanship

Cost

There is no cost to enter the 2019 Flash & Fire Challenge, you simply need to be a current member of AMCAW. All submissions will be checked against our member database before entry into the Challenge. Click here for more information about membership.

 

Key Dates

April 5, 2019 – Submission deadline for all entries
April 29, 2019 – Winners of the first three categories announced
May 1, 2019 – General public voting opens for the People’s Choice award
June 1, 2019 – Voting closes for the People’s Choice award
June 5, 2019 – Winner of the People’s Choice award announced

 

How to Enter

Please read the Flash & Fire Challenge terms and conditions for complete details on eligible submissions. You’ll choose your experience level category as you enter.

Download artist information/terms and conditions

Download the printable flyer
(Instructors, please share with your students)

To enter this challenge you will need to create an account on Artcall. The button below will take you to the site where more details are available. 

Submission Guidelines

How to Submit your Entry 

  • Submit one photograph of your piece following the rules for submitting photographs. 
  • Fill in the form that accompanies your photograph. 
  • Accept the terms and the privacy requirements. 

Rules on Submitting Photographs 

The only thing the jury will see when they are making their deliberations is the photograph of your submission. It is vitally important that your photograph represents your work in the very best way possible. Here are the rules for submitting your photographs: 

  • Use a high-quality photograph with a plain, uncluttered background and no additional props (plants, rocks, etc). 
  • Do not show jewelry on a model. 
  • Details of the piece should be clearly visible in the image. 
  • The photograph must be in focus and well lit. 
  • Images should be 300-dpi, JPEG format and no larger than 10MB. 
  • Only one main photograph and one additional photograph showing something not in the main photograph may be entered per submission. 
  • Do not list your name, company name or logo or any other information that may identify you in your photograph. 

Information about your submission 

Each submission must include the following information: 

  • The category relevant to your level of expertise with metal clay. 
  • The name of the piece. 
  • What the piece is – necklace, earrings, hair clip etc. 
  • The dimensions of the piece. 
  • Type of metal clay used – fine silver, sterling silver, 960/950, bronze, copper etc. Do not include the brand. 
  • Other materials used – type of metal, stones, beads, other media etc. 
  • Which tutorial(s) in the Flash and Fire Tutorial Collection inspired the piece. 
  • Photographer credit if applicable. 

Categories for Entry 

  • New to Metal Clay – actively working with metal clay for under six months. 
  • Beginners/Intermediate Level Artist – actively working with metal clay for six months to two years. 
  • Advanced Metal Clay Artist – actively working with metal clay for over two years. This category includes instructors. 

Entries will be judged on the following criteria:- 

  • Design innovation and originality. 
  • Successful incorporation of materials. 
  • Quality of workmanship. 

Key Dates 

April 5, 2019 – Submission deadline for all entries 

April 29, 2019 – Winners of the first three categories announced 

May 1, 2019 – General public voting opens for the People’s Choice award 

June 1, 2019 – Voting closes for the People’s Choice award 

June 5, 2019 – Winner of the People’s Choice award announced 

    Flash & Fire Challenge FAQs

    Q: Who can enter, and who can’t?

    A: Anyone can enter, except AMCAW board members, advisory board, and committee chairmen. You just need to become a member of AMCAW before entering and can join anytime right up to the entry deadline.

    Q: One of my students has been taking classes sporadically for two years and is really just starting to create intermediate-level work. Does she have to enter the advanced category?

    A: No – the categories are designed to give you general guidelines for self-selecting your experience level. For instance, someone intensively working in clay for a year might be in the advanced level, but someone introduced to metal clay two years ago might still be a beginner.

    Q: I love to enamel, and one of the tutorials is about enamelling. Does my piece qualify as related to that tutorial?

    A: Yes. The tutorials cover dozens of techniques such as making dichroic cabs, creating unique prong settings, creating your own textures, using beach glass, and much more. If you’re inspired by or use one of the techniques covered in the tutorials, your piece qualifies. If you’re enamelling, it does not matter if you are kiln-firing or torch-firing – you are still using the technique of enamelling.

    Q: Can the piece being entered be from work made in the past 12 months or older, or does it need to be made within the last month?

    A: It does not have to be new.

    Q: Can the piece be of a similar nature to work in galleries?

    A: It should be your original design and not infringe copyright.

    Q: I can’t afford a professional photographer. How can I get a good image of my piece?

    A: There are many free online tutorials about taking jewelry photographs; try Googling “taking jewelry photos” to find one. One key thing is lighting; it’s not all about the camera you’re using, but you do need to use good lighting to get a clear picture. Tip: find an easy tutorial on inexpensively lighting jewelry for photos here.

    Q; Can I use my phone to take my pictures?

    A: Good images are certainly possible with the newer phones. Tips: First, change your settings to save photos in a .jpeg format if the phone isn’t already set to do so. Then, use your phone’s focus feature (usually tapping the screen to center the focus indicator where you want it) to make sure your piece is in focus as you take your picture. Finally, when your phone asks you how big to save it, choose the largest size possible.

    Q: I don’t understand the image size requirements. What is 1000px?

    A: Px means pixels; your photo should be between 1000 pixels and 4000 pixels in size. Most photo resizing applications allow you to adjust the pixel size, as well as save it in a .jpeg format.

    Q: I can’t upload my image, it’s telling me the size is wrong. How do I resize my image?

    A: There are a number of free image resizing programs online which can help. Try Googling “resize photos” or try one of these free sites: resizeimage.net, pixlr.com, or paint.net. If your computer uses Windows 10, your Paint application is also a good resource. Tip: It’s best to upload your photo a few days before the deadline so you have time to adjust your photo if it isn’t sized correctly or is in the wrong format.

    Q: Help! I think I’m a member of AMCAW but none of my emails or passwords are being recognized when I try to sign in.

    A: Just send an email to hello@amcaw.org and we will help you.

    Q: Can I enter now and join AMCAW later?

    A: Please make sure you’re a member of AMCAW before submitting your entry. Otherwise your entry will be returned, and you will need to resubmit it once you’ve become a member.

    Q: I always wait until the last minute! Can I enter on the last day?

    A: Yes, but if anything is wrong with your entry, such as the photo, you won’t have time to resubmit it. Don’t risk it! We know time is always tight for artists, so go ahead and start the entry process with your basic information at your earliest convenience; your info will wait safely in the system until you’re ready to complete the rest of the application and upload your photo.

    Q: What happens if my entry is rejected for some reason – can I resubmit?

    A: Absolutely! If anything doesn’t meet the guidelines, you will be sent an email giving you details ofwhy the entry isn’t admissible (for example, photo isn’t in focus, photo has your name in it, and so on). You can then correct and resubmit it, but keep in mind that your resubmitted entry must be received by the April 5 deadline.

    Q: Does the winner need to send in the original piece for display?

    A: No; all pieces will be judged solely on the images sent in. There is no need to send in your original piece.

    Q: The theme of this challenge is not for me. Will there be other challenges in the future?

    A: Yes, we intend to have at least two challenges a year. We are also planning a number of other opportunities for members of AMCAW to get their work published – raising your profile not just in the metal clay community, but also in the wider metal working world.

      Flash and Fire Challenge rules

      1. This competition is only open to members of AMCAW. All submissions will be checked against our member database before entry into the Challenge. Submissions from non-members will not be accepted or acknowledged. 

      2. Please read the submission guidelines carefully and ensure you follow them. Submissions which do not follow the guidelines will be rejected and you will be informed that your entry is not in an acceptable format. You may resubmit the entry using the correct format before the deadline. 

      3. Members can submit up to three entries but each entry must be submitted separately and must follow the submission guidelines. 

      4. All entries must be submitted by the deadline of April 5, 2019, there will be no exceptions to this. Late entries will be notified that they will not be considered for the competition. 

      5. All entries must be submitted online, no other submission methods will be accepted. 

      6. All entries must be the work of the AMCAW member and must be a unique and original design. 

      7. All entries must use metal clay in part or in full. Mixed media work is acceptable, but the entry should use metal clay as a significant element in the design. 

      8. Entries should not have won an award in any other competition prior to January 2019. 

      9. Entries can be jewelry or bodily adornment only. 

      10. There are three categories of entry defined by the amount of experience the maker has in working with metal clay. Members should submit their work into the category relevant to their experience level with metal clay. The jury reserves the right to reclassify the category of an entry. 

      11. The jury will be looking for original application of the techniques learned from any of the tutorials in the Flash and Fire Tutorial Collection. Entries which have replicated the instructors’ sample pieces will not be accepted. Photographs should be 300 dpi, between 1,000 and 4,000 pixels, in .jpeg format, and no larger than 10 MB. 

      12. The jury will evaluate each photographic entry anonymously, ie, without knowing the name of the member who submitted it. Do not list your name, company name or logo or any other information that may identify you in your photograph. 

      13. When you enter a piece in this challenge, you agree to AMCAW using the image of your piece in publicity, sharing your name and image with our sponsors – who may use it in their publicity – sharing it with other members of AMCAW and the general public. AMCAW reserves the right to use the image on their website, in their advertising and on social media. By entering this challenge, you are agreeing to these conditions. 

      14. Employees of AMCAW, members of the AMCAW board, the Advisory Panel, committee chairs and vice-chairs and their immediate family members may not participate. 

      15. Winners of the New to Metal Clay, Beginning/Intermediate, and Advanced categories are not eligible for the People’s Choice Award. 

      16. All shipping, import tax, duty and handling charges for prizes sent will be paid by AMCAW. Duty, tax etc may need to be paid by the recipient (depending on your local tax and import rules) but AMCAW will reimburse this on production of official receipts for payment.

      17. The decision of the jury is final. 

      18. Winners will be notified by email. 

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